It's not uncommon for a motorist to be charged with drunk driving following a traffic accident. Whether you're a passenger car driver or a professional truck driver, a DUI conviction can be devastating. For a professional it can mean the end of a long career; for a person holding a standard operator's license, driving privileges can be lost or severely limited. In all cases, fines can be expensive and social stigma can cause unintended consequences.
As an Alabama drunk driving defense lawyer practicing in the Birmingham area, I've seen what can happen to folks who get pulled over for driving under the influence of alcohol. It makes no difference where you're from — Tuscaloosa, Phenix City, Homewood or Vestavia Hills — no matter where in Alabama you come from, drinking and driving can cause a load of problems. You never know when it might happen, either.
A news article showed just how unpredictable a DUI arrest can be. According to reports, a semi tractor-trailer driver was charged with drunken driving when he apparently lost control of his rig during a traffic accident on U.S. 43 just north of Killen, AL. Police said that the incident occurred in the early evening of February 3 following a collision between the trucker's vehicle and a much smaller vehicle.
Witnesses at the scene told officers that a Suzuki passenger vehicle crossed into the path of a 1996 Volvo tractor-trailer, which triggered the crash. Apparently the driver of the Suzuki told a witness at the scene that he had spilled some coffee and while reaching down to pick it up had swerved into the truck and clipped the trailer.
The truck, which was being driven by 54-year-old Larry Patterson of Florence, AL, crossed the highway and ran off the westbound side. The semi, which was carrying heavy steel coils, went down an embankment approximately 150 feet and lost at least one of its coils in the process. The truck also spilled approximately 250 gallons of diesel fuel, threatening a nearby creek and pond.
The driver of the Suzuki, Kevin Black, 30, of Florence, was flown to Huntsville Hospital, but authorities said his injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. The truck driver, on the other hand, was not injured according to troopers at the scene. He was arrested at the scene after failing a field sobriety test. Based on Alabama law, the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) for someone operating a commercial vehicle is 0.02 percent. Police had not revealed what Patterson's BAC level was at the time of the report.
Teacher's aide injured in accident, TimesDaily.com, February 4, 2010